Councilwoman Cindy Bass’ statement on the permit appeal hearing for the SEPTA Nicetown gas plant, which has been continued.
“I stand with community members and environmental advocates in calling on the Philadelphia Health Department to appeal the air permit granted for the SEPTA Nicetown gas plant until a health impact study is conducted by SEPTA. A representative from my office attended the air permit appeals hearing yesterday, Tuesday, April 17, to stand in solidarity with the community. I’ve said from the very beginning that SEPTA has not done its due diligence in providing information about the environmental effects of their proposed plant on the surrounding Philadelphia community. SEPTA should have conducted a health impact study, to gain insight into how their new plant would impact air quality and pollution in an already environmentally vulnerable neighborhood, no matter how environmentally progressive the plant is purported to be.
My office brought to the attention of many that the zip code wherein SEPTA plans to build the new gas plant has some of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the entire City of Philadelphia. Despite SEPTA’s position that the Nicetown plant meets Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, I have long held that EPA standards do not take into consideration communities already besieged by pollution and poor air quality.
As Vice Chair of the Committee on the Environment, I will continue to advocate on behalf of my constituents, and to work to improve air quality and environmental health citywide.”